So, you’ve been able to fill the room; packed the house. But once you’ve paid for the performers, the staff, and the resources, sometimes you’re left with just enough to wonder, “was it worth it?” As I mentioned in the last post, my background is in live music. Most people are surprised when I tell them that I often felt like I wasn’t in the music business; I was in the bar business. After you pay for the band, security, sound and lights, catering, and staff, there wasn’t much of that ticket revenue left. We paid our bills from the bar.

Now, I know most nonprofits are not interested in having 1000 intoxicated patrons in their facility, so here are a few other options for generating more revenue at your events:

Skip the Line

People really LOVE this option – especially to sold out events. Now, this is something most venues sell: Purchase your ticket for $20 and add on a $10 Skip the Line option for early admission. Read how you can use mobile scanning to set this up.

*This works best for General Admission events, where you have a line and people vying for the best spots to watch a show.

If you’re not into up-selling to your constituents (I can see how this can seem tacky), then offer this as an incentive. The 1st 20 people who purchase tickets to an event will be granted early admission. And early admission comes with cocktails. Oh, perfect segue to:

Meet & Greet

Offer something BEFORE events. If you can get performers or speakers to mingle before an event, you can sell tickets to a meet and greet. Offer a discounted package for meet and greet + event. Offer this only to your members. Or to your members first (see Fanclub Presale in the last blog). This not only makes the main event more enticing; it also ups your overall revenue.

Limited Event Merchandise

Most performers come with their own merchandise – Tshirts, DVDs, CDs, etc – but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide some of your own. Have a local artist create custom screen prints for special events. You’ll need your artists’ permission to sell items with their name, but most artists love having custom art – and are happy to split the profit from the sales with you.

Like I mentioned in our last blog on how to sell more tickets, be sure tickets aren’t the only thing you’re selling.

More advice? Let’s swap ideas in the Altru community!

This post originally appeared on Blackbaud KnowHow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristen Gastaldo joined Blackbaud’s Altru team in March 2012, leaving behind the late nights of the music business. She spent 8 years in the music industry, managing a venue in Charlotte, NC, and then relocating to Charleston in 2007 to help reopen the Music Farm. While at the Farm, she founded the Lowcountry Artist Market, a seasonal market that features local vendors selling handmade and vintage goods. Her background in event management, marketing and ticketing in the arts and cultural community led her to pursue a career with Blackbaud, as Altru’s Community Manager. Kristen is here to help users connect with information, each other, and to help foster our sense of community.

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